CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2012 |
Alarmed by plans for aWal-Martgrocery store in Chinatown, a city planning committee Tuesday approved a temporary ban on large retail chain stores setting up shop in the downtown district. In a 2-1 vote, members of the Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Management panel found that if the city doesn't act, an infusion of big-box stores could endanger the unique cultural character of Chinatown. The viability of the historic neighborhood is at risk, said committee Chairman Ed Reyes. Reyes and fellow committee member Jose Huizar instructed the city's Planning Department to prepare an ordinance that would temporarily ban chain stores larger than 20,000 square feet from gaining permits.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2012 |
A block south of Pershing Square, Marc Chevalier strolls along Olive Street in a flawless 60-year-old Oviatt suit of shimmering white silk. Despite its age, the design is so up to date that he could have stepped out of a window display at one of today's exclusive menswear stores, except for his two-toned Spectator shoes, which are more fitting for a Raymond Chandler novel. Chevalier, 45, is the unofficial curator of all things Oviatt, whether it pertains to clothier James Oviatt, who died in 1974 at the age of 85, or the 1928 Oviatt Building at 617 S. Olive St., also known as Historic Cultural Monument No. 195. To be escorted by Chevalier through the building and its penthouse is perhaps as close as one can come to rubbing shoulders with Oviatt's ghost.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2012 |
For decades,the cascading strip of land in the heart of the Los Angeles Civic Center reflected a downtown where people commuted in each morning and cleared out by sunset. It was a collection of parking lots and little-used chunks of public space, hidden by the ramps of a parking garage. This week, after a $56-million renovation, that 12-acre rectangle from the top of Bunker Hill to the base of City Hall will be christened as L.A.'s Grand Park, providing downtown with its first sizable amount of open space.
July 24, 2012 |
MPG Office Trust Inc., the largest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles, turned a profit in the second quarter as the company settled some large debts. The Los Angeles real estate investment trust — which also owns buildings in Glendale, Pasadena and Cerritos — continued to let go of properties that were heavily encumbered with debt while hanging on to most of its trophy buildings in L.A.'s financial district. MPG finished the quarter ended June 30 with net income of $67.3 million, or $1.32 a share, down 43% compared with $118.4 million, or $2.42, in the same period of 2011.
July 20, 2012 |
Downtown L.A.'s revitalized bar scene owes more to Cedd Moses' 213 Nightlife operation than perhaps any other business in the game. The company boasts nine venues between the 110 Freeway and the L.A. River, including mainstays Cole's P.E. Buffet, Golden Gopher and Seven Grand. A decade after 213 began, the famously seedy city center has become an upscale booze hound's Disneyland. But 213's next three ventures are far from its namesake area code. With a satellite version of Seven Grand now open in San Diego and plans for versions of that bar and Cole's inside LAX terminals, the most influential firm in downtown L.A.'s night life comeback is casting a wider net. The move could mean a new national scope for 213 -- but risks diluting one of the most potent brands in SoCal bar-going.
July 17, 2012 |
After 10 years of running their brand online, Poketo designers Angie Myung and Ted Vadakan recently opened their first brick-and-mortar store in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. The interior of the 4,000-square-foot store is clean, minimal and modern so that products, such as Eric Trine's knockout chairs, above, can shine. “Poketo to us is about art and fun,” Vadakan said by phone from Comic-Con. “It's a very modern aesthetic.” On a recent afternoon, as the lunch crowd from Wurstküche spilled into Poketo's sunny space, shoppers browsed Poketo T-shirts, backpacks, fleece laptop covers, journals, sketch pads and limited-edition wallets by Tim Biskup , Japanese illustrator PCP and Matt Furie , among others.
July 9, 2012 |
A $125-million high-rise apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles that was planned before the economic downturn will finally get underway in September, the developer said. Wood Partners started planning the 22-story project in 2006 but shelved it two years later as the economy stalled, said Brian Hansen, the Atlanta company's director of development for Southern California. "Right now the downtown apartments market is doing very well," Hansen said. "Unlike most urban centers, housing is lacking.
June 7, 2012 |
When it comes to home decorating on a budget, art options get generic pretty fast. Between mass-produced images of Marilyn Monroe or New York City's taxicabs sold at big box retail stores, the works covering the walls of people's homes aren't chosen because they're particularly fresh or unique but because they are affordable and accessible. In the hopes of providing a more interesting alternative, recent University of Michigan graduates and 24-year-old L.A. natives Chelsea Neman and Jordan Klein co-founded the Tappan Collective, an online gallery selling original work by emerging artists.
June 3, 2012 |
Ofelia Lopez scrutinizes the hem on a hot-pink shirt fresh off the assembly line, making sure the stitching is just right. All around her, rows of workers rapidly attach sleeves, adhere labels and churn out piles of garments. FOR THE RECORD: The headline in an earlier online version of this article said American Apparel CEO Dov Charney recently talked of importing products. As the article indicated, the company currently has no plans to move operations offshore. What he said was: "At this time our business concept is to make everything here.
May 28, 2012 |
For the last 14 years, local concert promoter Albert Torres has been something of a local hero for salsa aficionados in Los Angeles. Torres, who spends most of the year traveling around the world hosting salsa festivals, regards his annual L.A. Congress as a labor of love. "It's my baby," Torres said proudly on Friday, his face reflecting the deep blue lights of the ballroom at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L.A. Behind him, thousands of couples celebrated the second evening of the four-day event, dancing to the beat of "Anacaona" - a jazzy salsa classic from 1971 - awaiting an appearance by Venezuela salsa legend Oscar D'León.